Luminaria

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The King

After we were done it was way past midnight, we gathered our stuff and stood up. It worried me the fact that Lana had to go back at this hour, maybe walking home wasn’t the best option, even when Vincent was with her, Myyts liked to attack at night. I walked over to Lana who was thanking Riley for everything.

“I’m not sure about you guys walking back at this hour” I said “Maybe I should go with you” Lana smiled at me and embraced me in a huge bear hug.

“It’s going to be fine” She said “Besides Vincent and Lui are coming with me” Lana rubbed my back softly like trying to calm me down.

“Besides” Vincent spoke for the first time in more than three hours “There’s nothing you can do that I can’t, I won’t let anything happen to her” He crossed his arms over his chest and looked at me with his cold green eyes. Sometimes I actually hated the guy.

“Whatever then” I said and hugged her one more time “Be safe”

“I will” She smiled like everything was going to be ok forever “See you tomorrow” I nodded. Lui walked over and put one hand on my shoulder and smiled as well, it actually made me feel better.

They left soon after that and Eric who lived right across from Riley did the same. Riley and I walked inside the house and locked every door, Riley’s father was a guardian so he was away most of the time and Riley’s mom was supposed to be visiting her grandparents leaving us alone in the house except for Riley’s older brother Luke who was on vacations from his guardian duty. I put on something comfortable to sleep in and Riley went to take a shower. Her room for some strange reason had two beds but I wasn’t complaining, I jumped on my regular bed and sighed in relief, it had been a very hard day and I was just glad it was over. Riley came out wearing some sweat pants and an old t-shirt, she had a long necklace with a decent size green sapphire. Supposedly sapphires were important in our culture because it has the ability to heal you, increase your powers or hide them from the Myyts, depending on the color, if a Myyt can’t feel your powers they can’t find you; unfortunately only people with a lot of money or that have been working as guardians for a long time are able to get one. I had a green sapphire bracelet that my parents worked very hard to buy but I always forgot to wear it and that’s why I got into trouble that other day.

“Are you feeling ok?” Riley asked as she got under the covers as well.

“Yes” I answer “I just want to sleep for days”

“Winter vacations are almost here so don’t worry” She simply said and after that I couldn’t hear anything else.

A bright light was shinning over me; it was like staring at the sun only that it wasn’t the sun I was looking at, it was a person. The smell of burnt ground filled the air and I could feel my lungs having trouble to get the air inside, my skin was filled with Goosebumps and my heart started to beat so fast that I thought it would get out of my chest.

I tried to touch him but the longer I tried the further away he was, I don’t know why I got the feeling it was a guy, he opened his eyes and looked at me, they were the strangest color ever, a very bright type of yellow, gold even. His mouth moved but I couldn’t hear his voice, I couldn’t understand what he was trying to say.

Maya

Was he calling my name? What was going on?

Maya

The voice just didn’t match the body.

Maya!

I woke up and looked around, I felt strange because this wasn’t my room. Riley was on the other side getting changed and I suddenly remembered where I was, I got up completely disorientated and still tired, I felt like I barely had any sleep. Riley put her books inside her bag and looked at me.

“We’re going to be late if you don’t get changed now” She said “I’ll go downstairs and make some to go breakfast”

“Ok” I said with my raspy morning voice, this was all she was going to get this far. I got inside the bathroom and took a quick shower before brushing my teeth and got changed as fast as I could go, I grabbed all my things and rushed downstairs to find Riley with three sandwiches in her hands standing by the door, I grabbed one and we walked outside. I had this very strange feeling in my gut, something I couldn’t describe.

We walked into the street and Riley went to knock on Eric’s door, I couldn’t help to notice the bunch of people just gathering around two houses down from us, the entire neighborhood was there I felt curious as to why everybody was standing there and I was about to walk over when Riley and Eric came out of Eric’s house, he was eating his sandwich and she was unwrapping hers.

“What happened?” Eric asked with his mouth full of food looking down at the group of people wandering around.

“I don’t know” I said. Then I saw my dad and Riley’s brother walking over to us from the scene, they had such dark expressions that I suddenly got scared, I grabbed my scarf and wrapped it around my neck before my dad got close enough to us. Riley’s brother was a male version of Riley just taller and he didn’t need glasses to read.

“What is going on?” Riley asked Luke when he was close enough to hear us.

“The Jensen were attacked last night by something” Luke answered, he was on guardian mode right now, he looked around for any possible danger. It took me a while to actually process that information; they were attacked inside their house? That was so weird.

“Was it a Myyt?” Eric asked still chewing his sandwich.

“Maybe” Luke sighed “I’m on vacation so they won’t let me in, but for what I could see it could be a Myyt and a dark dog” He touched Riley’s sapphire necklace and sighed.

“A dark dog AND a Myyt” I asked “Together?” He simply nodded. That wasn’t the strangest thing ever, they sometimes work together to get their prey but that normally happens out in the woods and on open spaces, not inside a house, on a town. My father was as worried as Luke was, he grabbed my clothes bag and gave me my sapphire bracelet, and of course I forgot it back in the house again.

“Please wear this today” He said. I put it on and kissed his cheek.

“And no wandering today after school” Luke said “Come back as soon as the last class is over”

The three of us just nodded. Luke glanced over at my dad.

“I’ll keep you informed” My dad nodded, there were two kinds of guardians, the personal guardians and the special unit, the personal guardians were hired to protect one person, like Vincent, the special unit was our own kind of police department, for those people who couldn’t afford a personal guardian to protect their house. Luke worked for the special unit. We all started to walk away when I heard my named being called. I looked back and saw Vincent walking over wearing his guardian uniform.

“Hey what are you doing here?” I looked at my dad and he was frowning at Vincent.

“I heard what happened” He shrugged “Since you were so close I decided to come check it out”

To say I was surprised was an understatement.

“You came to check if I was ok?” I couldn’t believe it. He shrugged again.

“You’re a princess” He said “Even when you’re not officially one you are a princess and is my duty to protect both of you” that just made me feel upset for some strange reason.

“Ok then” I tried hard to not roll my eyes in front of him “We were just leaving for school”

“I’ll walk you there” He simply said. I turned around and hugged my dad.

“Have a nice day” He said. I smiled.

“You too dad” And with that the four of us walked away in direction to the castle. I couldn’t get my head off of what happened, the city was supposed to be a kind of safe place for everybody, if people found out the Myyts and dark dogs could actually go into our homes and kill us then everybody in Luminaria will start to panic, not everybody could afford or have sapphires, I could tell it was going to be chaos. I grabbed my sandwich and gave it a few bites here and there; I wasn’t hungry anymore and with Vincent following us I just felt extra uncomfortable. The three of us were serious and very silent this morning, thing that never happened on our way to school.

“Are you guys as scared as I am?” I asked them, and I was surprised when they both nodded, I never thought Riley would be afraid of anything but then again, this happened two houses down from her, while she was asleep, and it could’ve been her.

“This is why we’re becoming guardians right” Eric said with a very sad expression. The reason why I wanted to be a guardian was because I felt like a lot of people didn’t have the same opportunity of hiring someone to protect them, I wanted to join the unit and maybe make a small difference in this world. Eric wanted to be a guardian because he wanted to provide something better for his family, it’s no secret that personal guardians gain a lot of money a month, and even when they barely see their families they can really change a family status in just one year. Riley on the other hand had more personal motives, for what I know she witnessed how a dark dog ate her best friend when she was ten years old, I don’t see her as the type to get revenge but I can see how something like that can affect you.

Seeing how your best friend dies in front of you and not being able to do something about it must affect you somehow.

We arrived at the castle and once we were inside I sighed in relief, if there was a place we were safe was the castle, there were more guardians than in the special unit. We checked our schedules and felt sad because we didn’t have any classes together for at least three hours. Eric wrapped his arms around both of us.

“Be safe girls” He said “be strong” Even Riley smiled at his motivational words.

“Sure” She punched his arm playfully “See you at lunch” And then she walked away. Eric looked down at me and gave me a half smile.

“I’ll be fine” I told him “Nothing a boring hour of math can’t fix” he laughed making me smile again. It took me a while to realize Vincent was still standing there behind us, Eric squeezed my hand before walking towards the main building, I turned around to face him. “What’s up?”

“Keep your eyes open” He simply said as he took a deep breath “I have a bad feeling and you are very reckless”

“Who said such thing?” I said and rolled my eyes “I’m training to be a guardian right…I can defend myself” Vincent chuckled and just walked away looking very skeptical. I hated when people just assumed that because I was a soon to be princess I wasn’t able to take care of myself. I shook my head and went to class.

The rest of the day went by very slowly, everybody was talking about what happened and I could feel how everybody was starting to panic, nobody felt safe anymore, I even heard Gregory Levinson, the king, was going to give a speech on live television for the entire country of Luminaria, if the king was going to talk about it then it had to be a very serious matter. Vincent was waiting for me outside my last class that turned out to be biology and I must say I did very well on that exam. He had his arms crossed over his chest and he was looking around like he waited for something to jump on us any time soon.

“Are you my bodyguard now?” I asked him as I put my book inside my bag after checking some answers. He rolled his eyes.

“Let’s make this quick because I have to get back to Lana” He said as he pushed me in direction to the front yard.

“Let’s make what quick?” I frowned at him for pushing me around.

“The king wants to see you” He said. That made me stop walking, I had seen the king and queen only once in my entire life when Lana and I found each other, they never asked to see me ever since, even though Lana always spoke about how much they wanted me to be part of the family, it didn’t seem like it really. I just followed Vincent out of curiosity, we walked to the north side of the castle where all the offices were, we walked up the stairs to the fourth floor, I didn’t know if the elevator was damaged or anything but I didn’t complain, this side was very different from the west side, all the walls were white and there were infinity signs everywhere, I think they tried to make this really old castle look modern.

We stopped in front of a very large double door, at the top there was a plaque that said council, and the letters were written in gold like everything on this castle. Vincent gave me one last look before opening the door and walking inside; he made a bow and waited for me to walk inside. I looked around as I entered the room, it was almost empty except for the tall man standing by the window, and he had bright blonde hair like Lana, a wide back and a very muscular structure.

Gregory Levinson turned around to face me, his powerful green eyes landed on me and a half smile played around in his lips. I didn’t know if it was the fact that he was the king, but he made it hard for me to look directly into his eyes, I felt all kinds of uncomfortable and he knew it. The king walked closer to me and stood just a few steps away, he had his arms around his back and his eyes tried to study me.

“Hello Maya” He greeted with a full smile now “How are you today?”

“I’m good” I said while trying to avoid looking at him “You?”

“I’m very good, thank you for asking” He said.

“Sure” I nodded and looked down at my feet.

“You may be wondering why I brought you here” He said as he walked around me, I couldn’t help to feel like a poor deer about to be eaten. I simply nodded “Well, last night’s events have made a little…uncomfortable”

Oh well ya think!

“So after having a serious discussion with your mother we thought your safety is a demanding subject” Just listening to the word mother made me clench my jaw, he did not just call his wife my mother, she might be but neither of them wanted to be in the past, now they had no choice. “We both think it’s for the best if you move in with us here in the castle” I shot my head up.

What?

“Excuse me, what?” I couldn’t be more confused.

“You’re going to move in with us” He repeated “And then we’ll be a family like we were supposed to be”

I had to laugh at that.

“I’m sorry” A quick laugh escaped my lips “With all due respect sir I don’t think that’s going to happen anytime soon” He seemed so surprised to hear my words that he even stopped walking and looked at me.

“So you say” He lifted an eyebrow “Why not?”

“Because for starters we’re not a family, if you wanted us to be one you would’ve never given me away in the first place” To say I was mad was an understatement “You can’t expect for me to leave my dad and my life in the city to come here and play family with you guys, that’s just not me, I never asked to be a princess and I don’t want to be and the fact that you think that I need to be here to be safe is irrelevant…I can take care of myself” I ended my speech with my heart racing and my lungs trying hard to get some air inside my body. The king didn’t move an inch for a while and for a second I thought he was actually going yell at me or something like that but instead he smiled like he had won a war recently.

“I thought you might have say that” He explained “So I spoke to Mr. Scott and explained the whole situation, he was more than glad to move in here with us”

“He would never do that”

“Oh he would, you see…” He touched my cheek in a very soft and dangerous gesture “We both share the same love and concern for your wellbeing, so when I explained how your life could be in potential danger he agreed more than happily, knowing you would never come without him”

He had to be kidding me.

“Besides, it’s a great deal” He went to sit down behind a giant desk as he spoke, making me angrier by the second “We’ll provide you of anything you need, he won’t have to work so hard and I guess we can both agree he needs a break. He’s been working so hard after Mrs. Scott passed away.” I never wanted to break someone’s face so bad. “You won’t deny that to your so called father right”

Silence

“So I thought” He waved his hand dismissing me “Vincent will show you the way to your new bedroom”

And just then I knew there was nothing else I could do or say about it. Vincent grabbed my arm and pulled out of the room, he looked at me like I had two heads.

“Let me tell you that you might be a princess” He started “But you shouldn’t talk to the king like that at least you have a dead wish”

“Oh please” I rolled my eyes and started to walk away before I killed someone.

“I mean it. The king deserves some respect!” Vincent exclaimed and I just had enough.

“You know nothing Vincent!” I yelled at him “You don’t know me, you don’t know anything…I’m so tired of people trying to move me around like they own me, these people don’t know a single thing about me, they don’t know what I like or don’t like, they gave me away when I was just a baby and you think that just because we discovered their mistakes I owe them something, well let me tell you buddy that’s not the way it works. I’m sick of this stupid society, I’m sick of them and I’m sick of you!”

Vincent just stared at me with his eyes wide open, I guess he didn’t expect me to blow up like that, but if you keep pocking me with a stick I will bite. He cleared his throat and finally walked downstairs to where I was supposed to sleep for God knows how long, every step made me angry, not at my dad of course, I bet he was only thinking about my safety but at these manipulative bastards who always had to get what they wanted. We finally reached the bedrooms area on the farthest block of the castle. Vincent walked a few steps and stood in front of this white door with blue infinity signs on the sides, he knocked a couple of times and waited.

My dad opened the door and looked at both of us with a funny expression.

“Oh honey you made it” My father said and he patted Vincent’s arm “Thank you for bringing her” Vincent nodded.

“Anytime Mr. Scott” Vincent replied and it made me wanna puke.

“Oh boy please call me William” My dad looked at me with a smile “I got almost everything set up honey”

“Great” I said and tried very hard to not roll my eyes.

“William” Vincent started “Would you give us two seconds, I need to speak to your daughter” My dad nodded like an idiot and closed the door to give us privacy.

I sighed. Vincent turned around to face and he scratched the back of his head awkwardly.

“Listen” He said “You may be right…we know nothing about you but one thing is true, he’s doing this only to keep you save” Vincent looked around like he was afraid someone else might be listening “This wasn’t the only attack in the whole country, there have been some other attacks on some near cities and even on some towns next to the coast line. He wants you to be protected and you won’t be safer than here”

I looked down and shrugged like a five year old.

“Don’t do it for them…Do it for you” And with that he walked away. I sighed and bit my bottom lip, the circumstances didn’t change the arrogance in the king’s words but it did change a little my position. If these attacks have been happening for a while then it was just a matter of time before they got someone I cared about. I had a green sapphire bracelet but my dad had nothing to protect himself with. If I didn’t do it for me at least I could do it for my dad.

With that thought in my head I opened the door.


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